Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows

Living Arrows 2015: 2/52


Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Let me introduce you to Cinderella and Prince Charming, sometimes known as “Prince” but more often “Dad”.   Elma’s favourite friends, and constant companions in so many of her games.

She makes them Duplo castles, she insists that they move into any castles that Kitty builds, and they are cooked for, cleaned up after and put to bed several times a day, usually accompanied by a bedtime story (“once upon a time .. now they are all asleep!”).  Whenever we pour out the Duplo onto the floor it’s “Dad” she makes a beeline for, scuffing through the sea of pretty plastic like angular hot pink and blue leaves until she finds her true love.  And it’s the prince that really matters; we’ve got a couple of Cinderella’s at least, and a Princess Ginger (formerly Aurora but re-christened by Kitty) and Ariel, to say nothing of two zoo keepers, a couple of girls about town and a little girl that rather strongly resembles Miss Elma herself, but only one Prince.

When Kitty was a similar age she enjoyed her Duplo but we didn’t have quite so much of it at that point, and I just don’t remember her playing with it in the same way.  Where Elma is all about the role play, the acting out of little stories of her own invention, Kitty was (and still is) all about the structures; she’ll want to build the biggest tower or a little house with a garden and a swing and a slide, or another huge new castle.  Elma’s building tends to be for whatever she wants for her little people, not for the sake of the construction itself.

It’s such a strong illustration of the differences in their personalities, and such a lovely way to watch Elma’s personality really start to emerge from the baby stage.  In so many things they can be incredibly alike, and they’re looking more and more similar as they get older, but it’s fun to watch their very different attitudes towards the same toys, and I’m  curious to see how that’s going to play out as they grow into and through a few of the other bits and bobs that we have on our shelves.

Although all of this still fails to explain why I looked across the lounge one day to discover that Cinders and Dad appeared to be being laid out less as honoured guests at the party and more as the tea for the party.  I’m going to really hope that the tea plates are intended to be cushions because after all of their recent adventures (giant slides, going to bed, making a flower garden, going to bed again) I think they deserve better than to end their imagined existence as tea for Upsy Daisy and an octopus.

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  • Fiona 12/01/2015 at 9:39 am

    Ah, my daughter has just really gotten into imagination play too. It’s so lovely watching her and hearing all the stories she comes up with. Great photo x

    • Carie 12/01/2015 at 9:03 pm

      thank you – it is so much fun seeing what she comes up with for their story lines!

  • Amy 12/01/2015 at 1:14 pm

    I was really looking forward to seeing this week’s post from you! This is a lovely pic and post, imaginative play is just the best. Looking forward to next week xx

    • Carie 12/01/2015 at 9:01 pm

      Aww thank you – I’ll admit I’m having a lot of fun doing it and it’s certainly keeping my eyes open to what’s going on in the girls’ play

  • Mammasaurus 12/01/2015 at 1:41 pm

    Really loving this idea – I can see where Kitty gets her creativity from! x

    • Carie 12/01/2015 at 9:00 pm

      Aww thank you, you’re very kind 🙂

  • older mum in a muddle 12/01/2015 at 4:32 pm

    Happy New Year! I love the way children become obsessed with certain toys, play everything with them, and then suddenly discard them like yesterdays newspaper. I hope they didn’t end up being tea! X

    • Carie 12/01/2015 at 8:58 pm

      Happy New Year to you too – and yes, that’s so true, Kitty especially seems to change her favourite bedtime friend on a weekly rotation!

  • Yanic 12/01/2015 at 6:14 pm

    This made me crack up… thank you for that! How limitless is a child’s imagination when you give it the place to run free. I believe in the importance of boredom. I love watching what is pulled from their mind when they are given a few minutes to simply be. Magic!

    • Carie 12/01/2015 at 8:57 pm

      You’re welcome – and I’m with you on the power of boredom, it definitely gets the creativity going!

  • Vickie 12/01/2015 at 8:54 pm

    Oh how wonderful! It does look like they’re more the meal than the guests. I love how their hands are raised as if to say um… excuse me… I think there’s been a mistake.

    I can’t wait to see what you have to share next week. Vx

    • Carie 12/01/2015 at 8:56 pm

      It did look slightly gladiatorial to me – being served up for one last bow to the crowd before they disappear into Pip’s jungle gym in the background!

  • My Two Mums 12/01/2015 at 10:03 pm

    The thought of cinders and the prince being served for tea made me chuckle. It’s great when kids start to really make use of their awesome imaginations.

    • Carie 13/01/2015 at 11:14 pm

      It’s really wonderful what they can come up with to try to make the world make sense isn’t it!

  • hena tayeb 12/01/2015 at 10:21 pm


    • Carie 13/01/2015 at 11:13 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Lauren 13/01/2015 at 9:37 am

    “I’m going to really hope that the tea plates are intended to be cushions” haha!!
    Loving how you’re doing Living Arrows. Such a clever idea x

    • Carie 13/01/2015 at 11:13 pm

      thank you – I’m really enjoying doing something a little different with it – and I’ve got a few plans forming for things that I know come into play across the year too 🙂

  • Alexandra @dontcallmestepmummy 13/01/2015 at 1:37 pm

    This is so funny, lovely picture. I love how their personality differences shine through at such a young age. I had a very sensitive little boy and now a little girl who will laugh in your face when she hurts you haha. I hope they don’t meet their end, and get lots more play. Although, let’s face it, it would be a funny way to go….

    • Carie 13/01/2015 at 11:06 pm

      I think the Duplo is the first toy that they’ve approached in such different ways – proving how great a toy it is – it’s been really fascinating to watch 🙂

  • Karen 13/01/2015 at 8:43 pm

    Hee hee this did make me giggle x

    • Carie 13/01/2015 at 11:04 pm

      Poor Cinders – you’d think happily ever after was the end of the story!!

  • Merlinda (@pixiedusk) 14/01/2015 at 7:16 pm

    I think those are really a magic carpet and that they are not cakes for tea =P #livingarrows

    • Carie 14/01/2015 at 10:53 pm

      Oh I like your idea – magic carpets are a possibility!!